Synopses & Reviews
"Photographer Stabile and journalist Linderman present the images and words of refugees to the U.S. in this compact, beautiful volume. A portion of the book is dedicated to the oral testimony of Stabile's subjects and their friends and neighbors, cross-sampling the experiences of people forced to leave Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Somalia. Indisputably, though, the book's main focus is on the photographs that Stabile has been taking, in black and white and color, of refugees since encountering an Ethiopian family at a New York City hotel in 2007. His moody but not overly affected work captures both the public anonymity of the airports and hotels where these immigrants first arrive and the intimacy of the homes and neighborhoods where they settle. Linderman sets the scene for the interviews and photos with brief, workmanlike primers on the resettlement process, the countries of origin covered, and the cities including Mobile, Ala.; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Charlottesville, Va.; Erie, Pa.; and Fargo, N.Dak. where she and Stabile tracked down people they first met as new arrivals. The lack of captions, in particular clear identifications of the interviewees, may frustrate some, but also aids the authors' willingness to let their subjects' words and pictures speak for themselves. Linderman and Stabile resist the temptation to attempt an all-encompassing message, content to simply capture often ignored experiences. Photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Photographer Stabile and journalist Linderman present the images and words of refugees to the U.S. in this compact, beautiful volume."Publishers Weekly
"Refugee Hotel is full of stories that pull you in so immediately, and with such force, that the act of reading becomes surreal. Instead of sitting on the couch holding a book, it is as if you are in a movie theater, watching an independent film dominating awards season. It enriches your life in the moment, and leaves an impression so intimate you cannot easily forget it. There is no other book like Refugee Hotel on your shelf. You should remedy that soon."Alexis Coe, SF Weekly
PRAISE FOR VOICE OF WITNESS
These books are amazing
beautifully produced, with incredible editing and literary sensibility. Voice of Witness has done a better job than Ive seen anybody do with having people tell their stories in a way that really engages you.”
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, Air America
The series does not so much weave a tapestry from different experiences as braid a rope, a lifeline by which we might haul ourselves into a less ignorant, more actively compassionate future. In them, the specific illuminates the general, destroying preconceptions, stereotypes, and cop-out responses along the way.”
Richard Vernon, Sojourners Magazine
In a time when history is told in cheap television re-enactments, if at all, and personal tragedy is gobbled up in rapidly digestible magazine photos and reality shows, this project goes against the grain.”
Three years ago, photographer Gabriele Stabile and journalist Juliet Linderman set out to document the experiences of refugees from around the world on their first night in the United States—a night spent, invariably, in airport motels. Stabile and Linderman traveled to the five international ports-of-entry in the United States—New York, Newark, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles—and photographed people in a surreal holding pattern before they start their new lives. Three years later, they tracked down the same men, women, and children and interviewed them about how they've rebuilt their lives and communities on American soil.
Captured in stark, unforgettable photographs, stories, and oral histories, Stabile and Linderman have created nine portraits of modern-day refugees on their way to becoming Americans. They convey not only the impossibly confusing first hours spent in a new country, but also their struggles and triumphs years later, as concerns of survival and freedom give way to those of adjusting to their new home country.
The Refugee Hotel
is a groundbreaking collection of photography and interviews that documents the arrival of refugees in the United States. A lavishly designed book, its stunning images are coupled with moving testimonies from people describing their first days in the U.S., the lives theyve left behind, and the new communities theyve since created. Among the narrators:
PSAW WAH BAW, who was forced to flee her village in Burma amidst armed conflict. She describes how her family left their village with just five cups of rice, beginning an arduous journey toward resettlement that would take them through Bangkok, Tokyo, Illinois, and Texas.
PASTOR NOEL, who fled the civil war in Burundi in 1972 for a refugee camp in Congo. When war erupted in Congo in 1996, Noel was once again forced from his home. He now lives in Mobile, Alabama, and is a central figure in the African refugee community.
FELIX, a South Sudanese man who joined the rebel army as a teenager but eventually fled to a refugee camp in Kenya. Felix now lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he works with Habitat for Humanity to assist African refugees in purchasing their own homes.
About the Author
Gabriele Stabile is an Italian photographer based in New York City. His photography has appeared in the New Yorker
, the New York Times
and the Wall Street Journal
Juliet Linderman is a reporter living in Brooklyn. Formerly the editor of a small community newspaper, she has written for many publications including the New York Times and the Village Voice.